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  1. Constraint Satisfaction Problems Chapter 5 Section 1 – 3 CS 3243 - Constraint Satisfaction

  2. Outline • Constraint Satisfaction Problems (CSP) • Backtracking search for CSPs • Local search for CSPs CS 3243 - Constraint Satisfaction

  3. Constraint satisfaction problems (CSPs) • Standard search problem: • state is a "black box“ – any data structure that supports successor function, heuristic function, and goal test • CSP: • state is defined by variablesXi with values from domainDi • goal test is a set of constraints specifying allowable combinations of values for subsets of variables • Simple example of a formal representation language • Allows useful general-purpose algorithms with more power than standard search algorithms CS 3243 - Constraint Satisfaction

  4. Example: Map-Coloring • VariablesWA, NT, Q, NSW, V, SA, T • DomainsDi = {red,green,blue} • Constraints: adjacent regions must have different colors • e.g., WA ≠ NT, or (WA,NT) in {(red,green),(red,blue),(green,red), (green,blue),(blue,red),(blue,green)} CS 3243 - Constraint Satisfaction

  5. Example: Map-Coloring • Solutions are complete and consistent assignments, e.g., WA = red, NT = green,Q = red,NSW = green,V = red,SA = blue,T = green CS 3243 - Constraint Satisfaction

  6. Constraint graph • Binary CSP: each constraint relates two variables • Constraint graph: nodes are variables, arcs are constraints CS 3243 - Constraint Satisfaction

  7. Varieties of CSPs • Discrete variables • finite domains: • n variables, domain size d  O(dn) complete assignments • e.g., Boolean CSPs, incl.~Boolean satisfiability (NP-complete) • infinite domains: • integers, strings, etc. • e.g., job scheduling, variables are start/end days for each job • need a constraint language, e.g., StartJob1 + 5 ≤ StartJob3 • Continuous variables • e.g., start/end times for Hubble Space Telescope observations • linear constraints solvable in polynomial time by linear programming CS 3243 - Constraint Satisfaction

  8. Varieties of constraints • Unary constraints involve a single variable, • e.g., SA ≠ green • Binary constraints involve pairs of variables, • e.g., SA ≠ WA • Higher-order constraints involve 3 or more variables, • e.g., cryptarithmetic column constraints CS 3243 - Constraint Satisfaction

  9. Example: Cryptarithmetic • Variables: F T U W R O X1 X2 X3 • Domains: {0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9} • Constraints: Alldiff (F,T,U,W,R,O) • O + O = R + 10 ·X1 • X1 + W + W = U + 10 · X2 • X2 + T + T = O + 10 · X3 • X3 = F, T ≠ 0, F≠ 0 CS 3243 - Constraint Satisfaction

  10. Real-world CSPs • Assignment problems • e.g., who teaches what class • Timetabling problems • e.g., which class is offered when and where? • Transportation scheduling • Factory scheduling • Notice that many real-world problems involve real-valued variables CS 3243 - Constraint Satisfaction

  11. Standard search formulation (incremental) Let's start with the straightforward approach, then fix it States are defined by the values assigned so far • Initial state: the empty assignment { } • Successor function: assign a value to an unassigned variable that does not conflict with current assignment  fail if no legal assignments • Goal test: the current assignment is complete • This is the same for all CSPs • Every solution appears at depth n with n variables use depth-first search • Path is irrelevant, so can also use complete-state formulation • b = (n - l )d at depth l, hence n! ·dn leaves CS 3243 - Constraint Satisfaction

  12. Backtracking search • Variable assignments are commutative}, i.e., [ WA = red then NT = green ] same as [ NT = green then WA = red ] • Only need to consider assignments to a single variable at each node  b = d and there are $d^n$ leaves • Depth-first search for CSPs with single-variable assignments is called backtracking search • Backtracking search is the basic uninformed algorithm for CSPs • Can solve n-queens for n≈ 25 CS 3243 - Constraint Satisfaction

  13. Backtracking search CS 3243 - Constraint Satisfaction

  14. Backtracking example CS 3243 - Constraint Satisfaction

  15. Backtracking example CS 3243 - Constraint Satisfaction

  16. Backtracking example CS 3243 - Constraint Satisfaction

  17. Backtracking example CS 3243 - Constraint Satisfaction

  18. Improving backtracking efficiency • General-purpose methods can give huge gains in speed: • Which variable should be assigned next? • In what order should its values be tried? • Can we detect inevitable failure early? CS 3243 - Constraint Satisfaction

  19. Most constrained variable • Most constrained variable: choose the variable with the fewest legal values • a.k.a. minimum remaining values (MRV) heuristic CS 3243 - Constraint Satisfaction

  20. Most constraining variable • Tie-breaker among most constrained variables • Most constraining variable: • choose the variable with the most constraints on remaining variables CS 3243 - Constraint Satisfaction

  21. Least constraining value • Given a variable, choose the least constraining value: • the one that rules out the fewest values in the remaining variables • Combining these heuristics makes 1000 queens feasible CS 3243 - Constraint Satisfaction

  22. Forward checking • Idea: • Keep track of remaining legal values for unassigned variables • Terminate search when any variable has no legal values CS 3243 - Constraint Satisfaction

  23. Forward checking • Idea: • Keep track of remaining legal values for unassigned variables • Terminate search when any variable has no legal values CS 3243 - Constraint Satisfaction

  24. Forward checking • Idea: • Keep track of remaining legal values for unassigned variables • Terminate search when any variable has no legal values CS 3243 - Constraint Satisfaction

  25. Forward checking • Idea: • Keep track of remaining legal values for unassigned variables • Terminate search when any variable has no legal values CS 3243 - Constraint Satisfaction

  26. Constraint propagation • Forward checking propagates information from assigned to unassigned variables, but doesn't provide early detection for all failures: • NT and SA cannot both be blue! • Constraint propagation repeatedly enforces constraints locally CS 3243 - Constraint Satisfaction

  27. Arc consistency • Simplest form of propagation makes each arc consistent • X Y is consistent iff for every value x of X there is some allowed y CS 3243 - Constraint Satisfaction

  28. Arc consistency • Simplest form of propagation makes each arc consistent • X Y is consistent iff for every value x of X there is some allowed y CS 3243 - Constraint Satisfaction

  29. Arc consistency • Simplest form of propagation makes each arc consistent • X Y is consistent iff for every value x of X there is some allowed y • If X loses a value, neighbors of X need to be rechecked CS 3243 - Constraint Satisfaction

  30. Arc consistency • Simplest form of propagation makes each arc consistent • X Y is consistent iff for every value x of X there is some allowed y • If X loses a value, neighbors of X need to be rechecked • Arc consistency detects failure earlier than forward checking • Can be run as a preprocessor or after each assignment CS 3243 - Constraint Satisfaction

  31. Arc consistency algorithm AC-3 • Time complexity: O(n2d3) CS 3243 - Constraint Satisfaction

  32. Local search for CSPs • Hill-climbing, simulated annealing typically work with "complete" states, i.e., all variables assigned • To apply to CSPs: • allow states with unsatisfied constraints • operators reassign variable values • Variable selection: randomly select any conflicted variable • Value selection by min-conflicts heuristic: • choose value that violates the fewest constraints • i.e., hill-climb with h(n) = total number of violated constraints CS 3243 - Constraint Satisfaction

  33. Example: 4-Queens • States: 4 queens in 4 columns (44 = 256 states) • Actions: move queen in column • Goal test: no attacks • Evaluation: h(n) = number of attacks • Given random initial state, can solve n-queens in almost constant time for arbitrary n with high probability (e.g., n = 10,000,000) CS 3243 - Constraint Satisfaction

  34. Summary • CSPs are a special kind of problem: • states defined by values of a fixed set of variables • goal test defined by constraints on variable values • Backtracking = depth-first search with one variable assigned per node • Variable ordering and value selection heuristics help significantly • Forward checking prevents assignments that guarantee later failure • Constraint propagation (e.g., arc consistency) does additional work to constrain values and detect inconsistencies • Iterative min-conflicts is usually effective in practice CS 3243 - Constraint Satisfaction